ETHANOL and INSANE are out now!
Brisbane artist PRAX hit the ground running in 2021, with two singles under his belt! We caught up with the musician to chat about ETHANOL and INSANE, his early experiences busking, and so much more!
Tell us about your musical background and what led you to pursuing a career in music?
My Mum inspired me to start learning to play guitar when I was really young. By the time I was like nine, I started singing and learning how to play actual songs on my guitar so I could record covers and post them on YouTube. I met Kieran Fergusson (aka Riverine) at a shoot in 2017, back when I was a photographer. We were both huge fans of The Weeknd so we became friends over that. He invited me to the studio to try writing music for the first time and I fell in love with the process. Kieran pretty much taught me everything I know now. It was the longest journey but in 2019 I dropped my first song called ‘Lately’, which was produced and mixed by Kieran.
You started busking at the age of 9, what was your favourite songs to perform and would you ever cover any tracks now, adding your signature PRAX spin?
I think my favourite songs to play were by The Fray. You Found Me” and Over My Head are classics. I still love most of the songs I used to perform. I’ll definitely do some covers / remixes in the future, it’s something I’ve been thinking about recently.
You’ve collaborated with the likes of 916frosty and BOY $COUT GATSBY. What did you take away and learn from working with these artists that you’ve applied to your own career?
I learnt that persistence is key. These guys have been working hard for years and I’ve seen their ideas come to life first hand, so that’s been pretty inspiring.
Your latest singles ETHANOL and INSANE fuses together sonic threads of alt-pop, emo and rock, with influences of metalcore all into one succinct soundscape. How important was it for you to create your own unique style on the track, and how did you arrive at the sonics we hear?
I try to paint a vivid picture with my music to express my emotions in their rawest form. My music is a reflection of a certain point of my life or something I went through. I listen to a lot of dark R&B, emo rap and punk rock. Lil Peep and The Weeknd inspired me a lot with those tracks. When Kieran produced INSANE, he was really inspired by Northlane.
The introspective track offers vulnerable moments. Can you break down the meaning behind both songs for us and how the idea for the song came to be?
Making INSANE was a really cathartic experience for me. When I write my songs, everything you hear is pretty much the first thing that came to mind when I record. I don’t sit down and write my songs, Kieran presses record and I freestyle melodies and lyrics till I find something I like. It felt great recording the screamo parts of the song because I got to release a lot of anger and harboured emotions, something I don’t really do usually. INSANE and ETHANOL aren’t about a particular person or event in my life, more of an accumulation of emotions from a lot of things that have happened. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for years, that’s where most of my music comes from.
What’s one line from each track you find at times could be stuck in your head? Or a line that you come back to?
“You really fuck me up” - INSANE
“You’re lying to my face like I don’t know at all” - ETHANOL
You’ve also shared an official visual for the track for INSANE, directed by Nick Rae. Can you walk us through the conceptual nature of the clip and how involved are you with the development of the visuals?
When Nick and I create visuals, we always aim to make the weirdest, most creative shit possible. We sat down and created a board of ideas and themes we found on the internet and incorporated those with Nick’s vision. We filmed the whole thing in the bedroom I was staying at in Melbourne. We wanted to make it look and feel super claustrophobic, uncomfortable, up close and personal - just like the song.
What was your most memorable moment on set?
A bunch of my friends came through to film the scene with the hands on my face, it was dope having them all be a part of the video.
How important are the visuals to you when it comes to portraying the stories and themes present on the songs?
Visuals are the most important part of it. I feel like my visuals perfectly represent me as a person and the music I make. I want people to see my art and be able to emotionally connect with it and feel something.
How did the idea for the anime based visual for ETHANOL come about?
I saw a bunch of my friends be featured on AMV YouTube channels and they did really well so that’s where I got the idea from.
What can we expect from Prax for the rest of 2021?
The next few singles I plan to drop in 2021 will be my biggest tracks yet. I’ve been saving these for a long time.
The Weeknd, Lil Peep
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Trilogy by The Weeknd
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Dark, Alt, Sad
Best song of 2021 so far?
Trippin’ by Logan M
A song you would love to cover on tour?
Squash by Lil Dusty G
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Currents by Tame Impala
First concert you went to?
Best concert you have been to?
The Weeknd’s Starboy Tour
First album you ever bought?
Confessions by Usher
Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
My first ever show in Brisbane, supporting for Colu in 2019.
Guilty music pleasure?
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry?
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Keep going, it’ll be worth it
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I was on the train listening to the first mix of my first ever demo my engineer had just sent me.